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Old 08.04.2021, 13:21
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Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

Hi All,

according to FOPH website, it is apparently acceptable to have only a rapid (antigen) test to board a plane & enter Switzerland. However, in the scenario where only an antigen test has been done, a follow up test would be required in CH within 72 hours of arrival.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1558231594

Has anyone actually done this? Specifically for travelling Gatwick-> Geneva with Easyjet.

The rules appear quite subtle & not sure Easyjet can be relied on...

Thanks!
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Old 08.04.2021, 13:40
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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Hi All,

according to FOPH website, it is apparently acceptable to have only a rapid (antigen) test to board a plane & enter Switzerland. However, in the scenario where only an antigen test has been done, a follow up test would be required in CH within 72 hours of arrival.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1558231594
Those rules make it appear that you can take a cheap quick test and then take your chances on whether you get checked at the airport potentially avoiding the cost of a PCR test.
A few weeks ago I read up and it seemed you could only use a quick test if you could show there was no opportunity to obtain a PCR test in time for travel.

Other than checking witht he airline, check with the airport you'll be arriving into. Basel certainly used to say that you needed to have a negative PCR test.
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  #3  
Old 08.04.2021, 13:42
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

2 things, the rapid antigen test has to be done in the last 24 hours not 72 hours. If you board with antigen test you have to have a further test once you get to Switzerland. So I donít see the point unless itís not possible to get a PCR before travel.

ď 2. Swiss border control: Customs in the airportís transit zone check the negative test result on a random basis. For this control, a result brought from the following test is permissible:

A PCR test carried out within the last 72 hours
If you are checked and are unable to show proof of a negative PCR test result because you took a rapid antigen test for boarding, you must get tested again in Switzerland. Take a PCR or rapid antigen test as quickly as possible. Should this test be positive, you must immediately go into isolation.Ē
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Old 08.04.2021, 16:42
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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Hi All,

according to FOPH website, it is apparently acceptable to have only a rapid (antigen) test to board a plane & enter Switzerland. However, in the scenario where only an antigen test has been done, a follow up test would be required in CH within 72 hours of arrival.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1558231594

Has anyone actually done this? Specifically for travelling Gatwick-> Geneva with Easyjet.

The rules appear quite subtle & not sure Easyjet can be relied on...

Thanks!
The best possibility is to fill in a "self declaration" where you say you couldn't do the test from whatever reason. Link. Just scroll down and find the English form.

Not many people do it, so you might have to give explanations when asked.
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Old 17.05.2021, 20:44
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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Hi All,

according to FOPH website, it is apparently acceptable to have only a rapid (antigen) test to board a plane & enter Switzerland. However, in the scenario where only an antigen test has been done, a follow up test would be required in CH within 72 hours of arrival.

https://www.bag.admin.ch/bag/en/home...tml#1558231594

Has anyone actually done this? Specifically for travelling Gatwick-> Geneva with Easyjet.

The rules appear quite subtle & not sure Easyjet can be relied on...

Thanks!
When did they change this?!

I am reading the same link now and it seems PCR only is valid to enter CH, otherwise you face a 200CHF fine.
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Old 17.05.2021, 20:48
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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When did they change this?!

I am reading the same link now and it seems PCR only is valid to enter CH, otherwise you face a 200CHF fine.
The Swiss (as usual it seems) have 2 rules. You can have either an antigen (24 hrs) or PCR (72 hrs) to board, but only a PCR (72 hrs) at immigration. I believe the antigen option is if you can't do the PCR for some reason, and then you have to go and do a PCR immediately on arrival in Switzerland. So better financially to just do the PCR in the first place.
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Old 17.05.2021, 20:50
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

You might also find the test is a lot cheaper (possibly free) at your country of departure, but expensive in Switzerland...
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Old 17.05.2021, 21:43
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

The last weeks the police has been checking if you had a valid pcr test with a lot of incoming flights!
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Old 18.05.2021, 07:51
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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The last weeks the police has been checking if you had a valid pcr test with a lot of incoming flights!
Yep there was an article about lack of checking in local.ch the following weekend the border patrol folks checked every single person asking for PCR tests.

This 200CHF fine thing is a very recent addition it wasnt there 2 weeks ago.

That said in a year or so of regular flights the other week is the one and only time i've ever been asked to show my PCR test result at the Swiss end. Normally its just passport and work permit and i'm in.

Last edited by Spaceghost; 18.05.2021 at 10:05.
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Old 18.05.2021, 09:57
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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You might also find the test is a lot cheaper (possibly free) at your country of departure, but expensive in Switzerland...
Or of course if the cost of the test at your departure is more than 200,- then the fine becomes attractive This is all when arriving by air though, driving across the border sees nobody really interested in tests when entering Switzerland....

you are fundamentally able to self-declare that you could not get a test and might get a 200,- fine if you're stopped at the border. Given the immigration people are looking at passports and tests, you will get pulled out.

It seems the presence of a negative PCR avoids the checking of the re-entry self-declaration that you are supposed to do.
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Old 18.05.2021, 10:59
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

It's all very confusing to be honest - or maybe it's not. Just do a PCR test. I had a friend return from Spain last week. He had a PCR test, others on the plane had a Rapid test. The police checked everyone - those with a Rapid test passed through just fine.

I'm flying home to the US in less than a week and here is what United has to say about entering Switzerland:

Quote:
Travelers entering Switzerland must have one of the following:

A qualifying negative COVID-19 PCR test result. The PCR test must have been taken at most 72 hours before departure from the first embarkation point.
A qualifying negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test result. The rapid antigen test must have been taken at most 24 hours before departure from the first embarkation point. In addition, travelers with a rapid antigen test result may be subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival at their own expense.
The test result documents must contain the following information:

Surname and first name of the tested person
Date and time of the sample extraction
Type of test (molecular biological analysis or rapid immunological test)
The actual test result
These test requirements do not apply to:

Passengers younger than 12 years old.
Passengers with a medical certificate with a positive COVID-19 test result of a test taken in the past three months. The traveler must also have a medical discharge in addition to the positive test result.
Passengers only entering Switzerland to transit to another country who will not leave the airport.
Source

If you do a Rapid test - I can just get to the airport in the US an hour early and have my results right before I board. Also, I've had both Jabs already, so no breaks for that yet..

Would be interested to hear of anyone coming back with just a rapid test...
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Old 18.05.2021, 11:08
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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It's all very confusing to be honest - or maybe it's not. Just do a PCR test. I had a friend return from Spain last week. He had a PCR test, others on the plane had a Rapid test. The police checked everyone - those with a Rapid test passed through just fine.

A work colleague came through with a rapid test alone the weekend before last on 9 May but this was before the new 200CHF rule came in and they were checking everyones documents then. As per the rules at that time she told them she had a booking for a further test on the Monday (this was Sunday evening) and they let her go and commented 'that she knew the rules well'.

The bag link shows update on 16 May which I can only assume is when this new 200CHF fine was added if you don't have a PCR test, so you're now out of luck travelling with the antigen alone if you get checked.
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Old 19.05.2021, 00:27
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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It's all very confusing to be honest - or maybe it's not. Just do a PCR test. I had a friend return from Spain last week. He had a PCR test, others on the plane had a Rapid test. The police checked everyone - those with a Rapid test passed through just fine.

I'm flying home to the US in less than a week and here is what United has to say about entering Switzerland:



Source
That source is outdated. Check BAG for latest regulations.
And yes, last week was fine with just the antigen - this week not anymore.

Surprised me as the change obviously happened in the middle of my travel, and I was wondering if I dreamt that I read otherwise before departing.

I guess just a fact to accept, being lucky to have the privilege of traveling but need to be ready for uncertainties.
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Old 19.05.2021, 00:45
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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That source is outdated. Check BAG for latest regulations.
And yes, last week was fine with just the antigen - this week not anymore.

Surprised me as the change obviously happened in the middle of my travel, and I was wondering if I dreamt that I read otherwise before departing.

I guess just a fact to accept, being lucky to have the privilege of traveling but need to be ready for uncertainties.
It still says an antigen is accepted for boarding, but not for entering the country. Ridiculous rules, as at what point between boarding and Swiss immigration do you have chance to do a second test

Also test for boarding is 72 hrs before departure time. Test for entry is 72hrs before arrival time

Bonkers to have 2 rules!
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Old 19.05.2021, 06:42
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Re: Covid - Antigen test only for travel UK to CH

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It still says an antigen is accepted for boarding, but not for entering the country. Ridiculous rules, as at what point between boarding and Swiss immigration do you have chance to do a second test

Not everyone who is boarding will end up in Switzerland - some may transit to other countries for where an antigen test is fine for entry, as it is in the UK.
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